Ashley Marston’s award winning photo of Justin Webber bonding with his newborn baby Junia, and his daughters Evelyn, Olivia, and Avery. (Ashley Marston photo)

Ashley Marston’s award winning photo of Justin Webber bonding with his newborn baby Junia, and his daughters Evelyn, Olivia, and Avery. (Ashley Marston photo)

Vancouver Island birth photographer wins international competition

Ashley Marston’s winning photo ‘Daddy’s Girls’ captured Ladysmith’s family welcoming their newborn

Chemainus birth photographer Ashley Marston has won first place in the International Association of Professional Birth Photographers (IAPBP) annual photo competition.

RELATED: Ashley Marston has found her passion in birth photography

Marston’s photo titled ‘Daddy’s Girls’ features Ladysmith’s Justin Webber with his daughters Avery, Evelyn, Olivia, and newborn baby girl, Junia, shortly after she was birthed by her mother Nikki.

“Ashley has been taking pictures of our family since 2014,” Nikki said. “It’s been amazing. Ashley has been there to photograph the birth of three of my kids. It’s been really cool that she’s gotten to watch my family grow over the years.”

Junia was birthed at home in May 2020. She had been lying breech until 39 weeks, and the Webbers thought they would have to give birth by c-section. COVID-19 protocols would have only allowed one visitor in the hospital, which would have forced them to cancel their plans with Marston, and left them scrambling to organize child care.

“But at the last second Junia turned around, and everything was good to go. We actually called Ashley at about midnight after an hour of labour,” Nikki said.

The now internationally recognized photo was taken around 3 a.m. that night in their Ladysmith home.

“Nikki gave birth beautifully and joyfully to this baby in the birthing pool in her living room with all of her girls and her husband surrounding her. It was incredible,” Marston said.

“Just before I left the dad crawled into bed and put the baby on his chest, the girls crowded around, and I snuck in for one last shot. That was it. I left as the sun was coming up.”

Marston has been working as a birth photographer in the Cowichan Valley since 2014. She has worked with families from North Nanaimo to Victoria, but does most of her work in Cowichan. Her birth photography previously earned accolades from National Geographic 2018.

RELATED: Two of Chemainus photographer Marston’s images picked among National Geographic’s 2018 elite

RELATED: Marston brings breastfeeding awareness project to Cowichan

Two other photos from Marston were recognized in the IAPBP competition. Her photos ‘Home Birth in a Pandemic’ and ‘When Time Stands Still’ were given honourable mentions. ‘Daddy’s Girls’ was also picked as the Member’s Choice in the Postpartum category.

For the Webber family, the international recognition has put a spring in their step, but what matters most to them is the precious memory that Marston captured.

“When I look at the picture I’m reminded of the togetherness that we’ve experienced together during the pandemic, and I really hope that other people can see this picture and be reminded of the good things that have happened for them during this time,” Nikki said.

For more of Ashley Marston’s work visit: www.ashleymarstonbirthphotography.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy Senior Citizens’ Society president Rosaline Glynn holds up the certificate from B.C. Premier John Horgan next to Loaves & Fishes director Peter Sinclair, vice president Kris Huddlestan, and Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas. (Submitted photo)
Port Hardy council to nominate Glynn for the Order of British Columbia

Glynn’s nomination was endorsed unanimously by council.

Emergency personnel crews on scene assisting BCEHS with patient care. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Speed and alcohol believed to be the cause of Saturday night car crash

More information on the crash could potentially be released at a later date.

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in accident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19 logging site in Gold River

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident

North Island Gazette file photo of Port Hardy council
Council discusses Highland Manor sale

Port Hardy council debates what approach to take to Highland Manor after sale.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read